Statement by Pete Didisheim, NRCM Advocacy Director
I am very pleased to be here on behalf of the Natural Resources Council of Maine to witness the signing of the Governor’s liquidation harvesting bill.
Liquidation harvesting is a pernicious practice that is eating away at Maine’s forested landscape. It happens when someone buys a wood lot, cuts it hard, then quickly resells it for a profit, often in smaller parcels. In the process, wildlife habitat is destroyed, streams get polluted, and recreational opportunities are lost.
A small handful of companies in Maine do nothing but this type of timber speculation. It’s happening in the north woods, near rural towns, in southern Maine, and in the backyard of Augusta.
Lloyd Irland last year likened liquidation harvesting to termites. He called liquidation harvesting the brutal exploitation of a forest property for maximum immediate gain. It is motivated solely by greed [and] has no place in a civil society. Lloyd challenged legislators with the question: How many damaged sites do we have to see before you decide to do something?
Nothing happened last year, but this year we have seen a new level of resolve for action, by this Governor, this Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and his staff, and this Legislature.
We are pleased with this important step to eliminate liquidation harvesting. We look forward to working with the Administration to develop strong rules to implement the bill rules that will eliminate the termite infestation that is chewing its way across the landscape of Maine.